Novel Detection Interface for Gas Chromatography/Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic Analysis

EPA Contract Number: 68D01042
Title: Novel Detection Interface for Gas Chromatography/Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic Analysis
Investigators: Micheels, Ronald H.
Small Business: Polestar Technologies Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $69,985
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Polestar Technologies, Inc., proposes to develop a field-portable gas chromatography/ Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (GC/FTIR) instrument that is based on a novel infrared detection interface for the hyphenated GC/FTIR analysis technique. The new GC/FTIR interface will have substantial advantages over the conventional infrared lightpipe interface in improved detection sensitivity, reduced cost, and greater portability. Currently, GC/FTIR analysis is used less frequently than gas chromatography/mass spectrometry because of the higher instrument costs and reduced sensitivity of GC/FTIR, even though this infrared detection technique provides better identification of chemical isomers and can handle much higher analyte concentrations without sample dilution. Portable GC/FTIR instruments have not yet been developed, in part because the current lightpipe interfaces employ a liquid nitrogen-cooled HgCdTe detector and are not very amenable to field-portable use. The proposed program will develop the improved GC/FTIR interface as well as a field-portable GC/FTIR instrument.

The field-portable GC/FTIR system with the improved infrared interface will find applications such as analysis of environmental water, soil, and air samples for high-level and trace volatile and semivolatile organic compounds; and in the identification of unknown leaked or stored compounds at chemical accident or spill sites. Because of the improved performance and lower cost, there will be additional applications for the novel infrared interface in desktop GC/FTIR systems, including regulated analysis of aromatics and oxygenates in gasoline and the analysis of mixtures from organic synthesis reactions in industrial and academic research laboratories.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, monitoring, gas chromatography, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, GC/FTIR, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, engineering, chemistry, EPA, field-portable instrument., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, VOCs, Monitoring/Modeling, Analytical Chemistry, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, environmental monitoring, Field Fourier Infrared (FT-IR), analysis of air and water samples, Fourier Transform Infrared measurement, field portable monitoring, field portable systems, mass spectrometry, detection interface, detection system, gas chromatography, chemical detection techniques, field monitoring, field deployable, field detection, spectroscopic, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), air quality field measurements, aerosol analyzers, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, Fourier transform infrared

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report